Thursday, April 21, 2005

Who decides what makes a writer great?

Sometimes I just hate being a girl. Actually approximately 36 days out of the year I hate being a girl. The rest of the year is just fine and dandy. So tonight at dinner the subject came up about what makes a writer great. The boyfriend claims that one (not the only) thing that makes a writer great is vocabulary. I personally think what makes a writer great is the ability to convey the writer’s thoughts to the mind of the people in a smooth manner. Or rather in a manner that RELATES to the people. I don’t care if the material is a mystery, politically incorrect humor, romance, drama or psychological editorials; it has to be able to form a mental picture in the readers mind. Essentially if the reader does not like the person writing, he or she won’t like the actual writing. Marcus Aurelius is the perfect example of a great writer who “speaks” to the people. If one reads Marcus, even though the language may be archaic, you would still feel like Marcus himself is speaking to you. That, to me, is a great writer. I am not there yet. However, I have faith I will get there someday. Now vocabulary is important and the boyfriend brings up a good point. If you feel the writer is an idiot you won’t want to listen to him anyway. But (and this is a big BUT) you can have “common man” vocabulary in your writing and still be considered great (at least in my book). The boyfriend's writing is politically incorrect humor. There are not many words the everyman would have to look up in the dictionary to be able to understand what he writes. (In my opinion this is a good thing because no one has the ability not to laugh whilst reading his material.) But, is he good? Yes. Is he great? Yes. So this brings me to wonder, am I wrong? Am I right? Neither? What makes a writer great? My brother is a great writer and yet the everyman could probably understand only half of what he writes. He has the vocabulary. He is a great writer. But, does he “speak” and “relate” to the people? Hell no. So maybe it can be both and the exceptional writer has the ability to combine both good human relations and great diction. The jury is still out.
In other news….
The job is going well, however I do find it hard to separate emotions when you have to call a patient to come back to the doctors knowing very well the doctor found cancer but not being able to tell them that over the phone. I never knew how many were really out there

I heard on the radio today that Pope Benedict VXI has an email address. Now I really know I am living in the world of technology. You really know the Internet has taken over when the freaking Pope has an email address.

The L.A Book Fair is this weekend. Everyone in the area should check it out.

I said earlier today that I just really wanted to be a writer but I was not sure it would happen. Weird thing is though; last week I had nothing in print except this blog. Today I have a photo in a magazine with a byline and a feature article on a very popular website. Maybe I just need to look at the big picture…baby steps. I don’t need to go from nothing to having my own column. I can do things little by little and someday I just might end up somewhere cool. Whether or not I am a great writer, a good writer, or the common average writer, the truth is I don’t mind either way. I just know I love to write and I was taught that you could always do what you love… if you try hard enough.

1 comment:

ethank said...

Well, at least you can write in a way someone understands. I usually write in a very academic tone, even in my blog (which is why I don't blog much)..

Sample of my writing:

"In non-fictionalized space, the cyborg is not a specific entity, but instead is a site of collision between man and machine. A hybrid space informed not by anthropomorphic form, but instead informed by emergence out of points of interface between man and machine. This point of collision operates on perceptual levels outside of mere cognitive capability, and instead has inscriptive effects that go deeper into both sides of the interface (man and machine) than can be examined by using purely morphologically static forms. Indeed, the site of the cyborg exists outside of strict morphology and instead operates as a point of intersection along divergent causality chains – the man and the machine. When treating the cyborg not as an entity but instead as a site or a moment of constructive collision, one must posit a frame of reference in which to circumscribe what exactly the cyborg is. Since the cyborg is not a specific entity, it is necessary to frame a space in which the cyborg can be put into existence as thought in order for it to be conceptualized. "

I have long since given up :)